January 23, 2015 - 10:40 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa – Measles. It’s a disease that hasn’t been on the radar for several decades in the developed world, thanks to immunizations. However it appears to be making a comeback in some areas.

The Nebraska Department of Public Health has announced that an individual with measles spent time while contagious in several public locations in Blair and Omaha, Nebraska between January 11 and January 15, 2015. The South Dakota Department of Public Health reports 13 confirmed cases of measles in the Mitchell, South Dakota area. Additionally, more than 50 people from six states are reported to have measles as part of an ongoing outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

Community Health Partners in Orange City says that there is reasonable potential for measles to spread to Iowa. Nurse practitioner Robin Van Zandbergen suggests everyone check their immunization records.

Individuals who need vaccine can contact their usual health care or vaccine provider. Van Zandbergen says that if you were born after 1957 and had your two doses of MMR vaccine, even if it was decades ago, you should be safe.

Measles is a very serious, highly contagious viral disease transmitted from one person to another by airborne and droplet spread. It is characterized by high fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes – followed by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. This serious illness causes permanent brain damage or death in 1-3 out of every 1,000 patients.

  • More than 95% of people who receive one dose of MMR will develop immunity.
  • The 2nd dose of MMR boosts immunity to 99% in the majority of people.

She says that somewhat counter-intuitively, if you think you have measles or have reason to believe that you’ve been exposed to the measles virus – they do NOT want you to see your doctor in a doctor’s office or clinic.

If you have questions or need additional information contact your local health department.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:
Cut 1
Cut 2
Cut 3

January 22, 2015 - 4:08 pm - Posted in News

Akron, Iowa — A Hawarden teen was arrested on drug charges in Akron recently.
marijuana pot sxc
The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Saturday, January 17th, one of their deputies arrested 18-year-old Benjamin Gallaugher of Hawarden. Gallaugher had been a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped in Akron for a traffic violation.

During the investigation, Gallaugher was found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

He was charged with possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, a serious misdemeanor and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

Gallaugher was transported to the Plymouth County Jail and held on $1,000.00 bond.

January 22, 2015 - 2:42 pm - Posted in News

Sioux City, Iowa — The telecommunications company that recently purchased Orange City Communications, is itself being purchased by an Indiana company.
cat 5 rj45 ethernet internet cable
Long Lines says they agreed to be acquired by Schurz Communications, Inc., a diversified, privately-owned communications firm based near South Bend, Indiana. The sale is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015, following governmental approvals. Schurz intends to retain Long Lines’ current management and employees.

Over ten years ago, Long Lines joined forces with the city of Orange City to start Orange City Communications. This past August, Orange City voters voted to sell their portion of the communications utility to Long Lines.

Long Lines provides telephone, cable TV and internet broadband services to more than 20,000 business and residential customers in the metro Sioux City area and in Orange City, Mapleton, and other communities in Woodbury, Monona, Ida, and Harrison counties. Long Lines more than doubled the size of its fiber network during 2014, now extending as far east as Algona, IA and as far south as Omaha. Long Lines sold their wireless service, Long Lines Wireless to AT&T about a year ago.

Schurz operates cable systems serving 90,000 customers in Indiana, Florida, Maryland, and Arizona. Schurz also owns a number of media outlets across the U.S., including 11 television stations and 12 radio stations – among them KOTA-TV in Rapid City, SD – and publishes 11 daily and 8 weekly newspapers with a combined circulation of 225,000 readers. Like Long Lines, Schurz has always been a family-owned and operated company.

Brent Olson, CEO of Long Lines, says that joining the Schurz family of companies will allow the company to continue to provide the highest level of service and value to Long Lines customers. He says that the support from Schurz will allow expansion of HD programming, an increase in internet speeds, and availability to more customers.

Boyden, Iowa — Authorities are now saying the fire on Friday and the explosion on Monday at the same location near Boyden — were unrelated. Both happened at 3768 360th Street, seven miles southwest of Boyden.
Boyden FD Fire Department
Boyden Fire Chief Galen Blankers says that the fire that was reported on Friday, January 16, in the 7 PM hour, started in the center of the section that was destroyed, and was caused by an undetermined ignition source. This fire has been ruled accidental and remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, the explosion and fire that was reported on Monday, January 19, in the 2 PM hour, was determined to be a methane explosion with an undetermined ignition source. That explosion and fire were also found to be accidental and the incident remains under investigation.

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Farmers Union is asking the Iowa Department of Agriculture to require 48-hour advance notice to neighboring farms before pesticides are applied to row crops.
sprayer pesticide application
In addition the group wants enhanced penalties for pesticide applicators who are identified more than once as the source of pesticide drift. Iowa Farmers Union president Jana Linderman of Cedar Rapids says pesticide drift can destroy organic fruits and vegetables and bee hives, plus it’s a danger to farmers who’ve planted crops like food-grade soybeans.

Linderman cites research by the Practical Farmers of Iowa which found that between 2008 and 2012, less than 20 percent of pesticide applicators were fined after state investigators confirmed cases of pesticide drift had affected specialty crops. The average fine was seven-hundred-16 dollars ($716).

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says over-spray does happen, but it’s not common.

He says there are roughly 400,000 fields in Iowa and most of them get sprayed multiple times in a growing season. He says the Department of Agriculture only gets a handful of complaints every year — most of them accidents — where conditions change or applicators are in too much of a hurry. Northey says issues do occur, and that’s why commercial and private pesticide applicator training courses are required.

The Iowa Farmers Union filed a petition with the Iowa Department of Agriculture in December, asking that the agency adopt new rules for pesticide applicators. The agency has 60 days to respond. In addition to its request of the Iowa Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Farmers Union is asking legislators to pass a bill requiring commercial pesticide applicators to obtain more liability insurance.

Linderman Cut
Northey Cut1
Northey Cut 2

Rock Valley, Iowa — A Rock Valley teen was taken to the hospital after an accident near Rock Valley on Monday, January 19th.
Ambulance Front Generic
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 5:40 PM, 15-year-old Joel Baartman of Rock Valley was driving a 2003 Buick Century eastbound on Highway 18, two miles east of Rock Valley. Fifty-four-year-old Kelly Miller of Urbandale was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Impala westbound on Highway 18.

The report says Baartman crossed the centerline and struck the Miller Chevy. Both vehicles then entered the north ditch where Baartman’s vehicle rolled.

The Rock Valley Ambulance transported Baartman to Hegg Memorial Hospital in Rock Valley.

The Buick and Chevy sustained approximately $8,000 in damages, each.

Baartman was charged with driving on the wrong side of highway.

The Rock Valley Fire Department and the Rock Valley Ambulance crew assisted the Sheriff’s Office.

Hospers, Iowa — Thirty one people were cited when the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office broke up a party on Saturday, January 17.
Sioux Sheriff Car 84-
The Sheriff’s Office reports that in the 11 PM hour, they investigated a Text-a-Tip report of underage drinking going on at a home in the 4400 mile of 395th Street, a half mile west of Hospers.

Upon further investigation the sheriff’s office found a large gathering at that location. The officers charged 31 people with unlawful possession of alcohol.

One of the people charged was transported to Sanford Sheldon Hospital by the Hospers Ambulance for treatment of injuries sustained in a fall.

The Iowa State Patrol, Orange City Police Department and the Hospers Ambulance crew assisted deputies on the scene.

Orange City, Iowa – Fire crews were called to a fire at the Vogel Paint factory in Orange City on Tuesday, January 20th, but employees were able to keep the damage to a minimum.
Orange City Fire OCFD Engine 60
According to Orange City Fire Chief Denny Vander Wel, about 11:30 AM, the Orange City Fire Department was called to the report of fire in the aerosol department at Vogel Paint.

The chief says some fire fighters who are also employees reported lots of smoke. He says the fire was actually outside of the building – in the pump that pumps propellant into the paint cans.

Vander Wel says employees had used extinguishers to fight the fire, and it was basically out by the time the fire department arrived. Vander Wel says fire crews helped with overhaul.

He reports that one employee sustained minor burns in the fire.

The Alton Fire Department responds to all structure fires in Orange City, and vice versa, so they responded as well. Vander Well says he also asked for the Sioux Center and Le Mars Fire Departments to be put on standby just in case.

He says the cause of the fire is being investigated.

He says crews were on scene for 45 minutes, and no damage estimate is available.

Hospers, Iowa — Thirty one people were arrested when the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office broke up a party on Saturday, January 17.
Sioux Sheriff Car 84-
The Sheriff’s Office reports that in the 11 PM hour, they investigated a Text-a-Tip report of underage drinking going on at a home in the 4400 mile of 395th Street, a half mile west of Hospers.

Upon further investigation the sheriff’s office found a large gathering at that location. The officers charged 31 people with unlawful possession of alcohol.

One of the people charged was transported to Sanford Sheldon Hospital by the Hospers Ambulance for treatment of injuries sustained in a fall.

The Iowa State Patrol, Orange City Police Department and the Hospers Ambulance crew assisted deputies on the scene.

Boyden, Iowa — Emergency responders were again called to the site of a Friday night fire on Monday, this time for an explosion and injury.
Rural boyden FIre
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 2:15 PM on Monday, January 19th, they received a call of a farm accident that occurred at 3768 360th Street, seven miles southwest of Boyden. They report that 34-year-old Scott Mulder of Boyden was unloading a feeder in a hog building when an explosion occurred near a pit area of the building.

Mulder sustained serious injuries and the Boyden Ambulance took him to Sioux Center Health Hospital. He was later flown by fixed-wing aircraft to a burn unit in Minneapolis, MN.

Fire departments from Boyden, Hull, and Orange City, the Sioux Center Fire Chief, and ambulances from Boyden and Orange City responded to the scene.